"Delivered"

When I Suffer with Christ

 

LORD JESUS, YOU TOLD ME TO ABIDE in You and that You would abide in me. Your indwelling presence turns grim grief into good grief. From within, You assure me I am loved and You give me the power to endure. Thank You for liberating me from within. My relentless questioning---“why, why?”---is replaced by the power to trust that what you have allowed life to give or withhold can be used for my growth in what’s ultimately important---my relationship with You. Whatever is my loss, it is more than balanced by the assurance that I’m never called to go through anything that You will not provide strength and courage to conquer.

                With awe and wonder I contemplate Paul’s bracing truth, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs---heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed [since] we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Suffering with You, Christ, puts grief into perspective. You are with me and in me. There will be suffering, but you will help me through it. What happens to me can be used for your glory and for the glory of being made more completely in Your image. When I surrender my grief to You, I finally feel the pain let up, and I suddenly feel a new enthusiasm for the future. At last, I know freedom. “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3: 17-18).

                I pause to reflect on all that is mine because I am a joint heir with You. I belong to the Father’s forever family; I am loved and forgiven; I have come alive to life as it was meant to be lived now, and I will live forever; heaven has begun, and fear of death no longer has power over me; I am being transformed into Christ’s image; and I have power to confront the problems and perplexities of life. I praise You, Lord!

 

When in affliction’s valley

I’m treading the road of care

My savior helps me carry

My cross so heavy to bear

Though all around me is darkness

Earthly joys all flown;

My Savior whispers His promise

Never to leave me alone.

 

I cannot do without Thee

I cannot stand alone

I have no strength or goodness

Nor wisdom of my own

But Thou, beloved Savior

Art all in all to me

And perfect strength in weakness

Is mine when I lean on Thee.

Next: The poem "In Awe" by John Huskey